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Mannix is here! And Adam Becvar (aka Luigi Bastardo) jumps out of a big speeding car in his honor!

DVD Review: Mannix – The Second Season

Every once in a while, I forget things. Other times, things just sort of slip past me. Take the arrival of Mannix: The First Season on DVD for instance. It came, I saw, I forgot. I didn’t want to forget it… as a matter of fact, I was very excited to see it released on DVD (as a complete season, too — as opposed to another Vol. 1/Vol. 2 like CBS/Paramount has a habit of doing). Unfortunately (and this usually happens a lot with me), it only takes the sight of one perfect pair of ass-cheeks in the store for me to forget everything.

OK, so I missed out on the first season, but voila!, like a giant pillar of salt from the gods above, Mannix: The Second Season has arrived on DVD in a dazzling (albeit bare bones) release!

Mannix stars the incomparable Mike “Touch” Connors as the tough-as-nails Joe Mannix, a man who doesn’t hesitate to get himself involved in any action, and who doesn’t take shit from anyone. Mannix originally started out at a high-tech (for 1967) computerized detective agency called Intertect. But when he cussed out a machine one day and heard it cuss back (his own words), he opted to go into business for himself. Thus begins Mannix: The Second Season. Now working as a private dick at 17 Paseo Verde, Mannix, along with his faithful secretary Peggy Fair (the late Gail Fisher), Mannix engages in a variety of thrilling adventures week after week and almost always manages to ruin a perfectly god suit by jumping out of a high-speed vehicle in the process.

Season two really started off with a bang for me, with the very first person we see in the very first episode being guest villain Jason Evers, the wonderfully hammy actor who achieved cult status in The Brain That Wouldn’t Die. For me, that was enough to shout out, “What a great show!” But my love for the series doesn’t end there.

Mannix was made for Mike Connors. And Mike Connors was made for Mannix — his memorable role in this surprisingly violent series proved to be so iconic in fact that he would reprise the same part in several other TV shows and movies 36 years later (including a memorable episode of Diagnosis Murder that concluded a season seven ep of Mannix), as well as being constantly referenced on the cult favorite Mystery Science Theater 3000.

And let’s not forget Gail Fisher as Peggy. Sure, she would get kidnapped a lot (so much so that you’d think the girl would get wise after a bit), but this police officer widow brought her own flair to the show (which helped get the vote of black viewers) and, although the two never had any sort of onscreen relationship, there was definitely some sexual tension there. Yup, that’s right, Mannix is a man who appreciates a diverse menu of mamas. What a guy.

For the official record, Mannix: The Second Season contains:

Disc One: “The Silent Cry”, “Comes Up Roses”, “Pressure Point”, “To The Swiftest, Death”

Disc Two: “The End Of The Rainbow”, “A Copy Of Murder”, “Edge Of The Knife”, “Who Will Dig The Graves?”

Disc Three: “The Need Of A Friend”, “A Night Out Of Time”, “A View Of Nowhere”, “Fear I To Fall”

Disc Four: “Deathrun”, “A Pittance Of Faith”, “Only Giants Can Play”, “Shadow Of A Man”

Disc Five: “The Girl Who Came In With The Tide”, “Death In A Minor Key”, “End Game”, “All Around The Money Tree”

Disc Six: “Odds Against Donald Jordan”, “Last Rites For Miss Emma”, “The Solid Gold Web”, “Merry Go Round For Murder”, “To Catch A Rabbit”

For The Second Season, CBS/Paramount has assembled all 25 exciting episodes in a compact, six-disc set, with a very nice video transfer (1.33:1 — what, you were expecting something else?) and a more-than-decent Mono Stereo soundtrack (English only — sorry, no subtitles here, but the discs are closed captioned).

Now here’s where my only problem with this release is: there are no special features included with this release. The First Season had ‘em (a few, but they were there nevertheless), but The Second Season is completely devoid of any bonus material, save for the usual assortment of other TV On DVD previews on disc one. My only other qualm with this set (aside from the seemingly standard and bastardized re-editing of select episodes and the alteration of music that CBS/Paramount is earning a bad rep for) is the lousy quality of the photos on the back cover. Somebody, please, learn how to use Photoshop, will ya? I mean, the photo of Gail Fisher looks like Sally Field in blackface for Pete’s sake!

It’s still a recommended (and mandatory) purchase.  Enjoy.

About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the alter-ego of a feller who loves an eclectic variety of classic (and sometimes not-so-classic) film and television. He currently lives in Northern California with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.

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